Vermont Public Radio has been honored with two 2012 Gracie Awards® for its coverage of Tropical Storm Irene. The Vermont Edition staff was recognized in the public media category for Outstanding Breaking News Coverage following Tropical Storm Irene. Reporter and Vermont Edition Producer Samantha Fields was recognized in the Outstanding Hard News Feature category for her story, “Town Rallies Around Residents Who Lost Homes,” in Plymouth.
In the days following Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Edition provided critical information to people in need, including breaking news about washed out roads and bridges, utility outages, and emergency food and shelter resources. The program broadcast updates from emergency management officials, and state and local officials, assisted with inquires about missing persons, and provided extensive resources online for those affected, and for those looking to volunteer. Vermont Edition expanded its broadcast format to provide two-hour live programs twice a day, focused on storm response and relief efforts.
Managing Producer Patti Daniels said, "those were long days, but the awful circumstances that were enveloping so many towns drove us to keep providing as many resources and services as possible. We're honored to be recognized, but our real motivation is the faith and reliance that listeners placed in us during and after the storm."
The Gracie Awards are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, for excellence in programming created for women, by women and about women. The Gracies strive to encourage the realistic and faceted portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news, features and other programs. A full list of 2012 Gracie Award winners can be found here.